Right now, I am nearly completely fixated on weaving strips of cloth together and stitching on them. I enjoy it so much that it is hard to tear myself away from it to do anything else. So I’ve decided that the 2014 map is not going to get finished. Oh, it was very helpful in getting my head together about what I need versus what I want this year. It was so helpful that I’ve changed my mind about much of it and so I’m not sure that I want to start it over. Here is how it stood about a week ago:

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It makes a good folio for my cloth squares!

Since then, I decided that I would not do any art retreats that are not within driving distance this year, so flying is out. I asked for a refund from Shakerag for the workshop I had registered for there. It cost me $200 in cancellation fees but even factoring that in it will be a little less expensive to go to Arrowmont the same week because the driving distance is shorter, cutting 5-6 hours off the total trip. Plus, I get to do something that I’ve wanted to do for several years now – learn about natural indigo dyeing with a talented teacher: Rowland Ricketts. The fact is, I can’t predict when my tendinitis will kick in and so the dyeing workshop is a safer bet than a workshop involving hand-stitching.

I'm going to order some indigo seeds from Pinetree Seeds and start them indoors in my office, since I don’t have a sunny place in the house where the cats can’t get to them. This workshop will teach me to make an organic indigo vat with fresh leaves, and use a rice paste resist for surface design.

I need to stick closer to home, not only for money’s sake, but I can see that I’m going to need to visit my mother more often. She is very independent at 90 years old, but is starting to get much more anxious and she does more than is advisable for her physical condition. I worry about her now. While we know that being active is one of the reasons that she is in such good health, she has some serious back and leg issues and she can’t resist getting out in the yard and raking and picking up sticks. She does wear a life alert button and she set it off by accident yesterday. The good thing is, it really works quickly!

Travel is always on my mind, since that is what I love to do most. Sandy has wanted to go to Cahokia in southern Illinois for quite some time now, and since I’m also interested in prehistoric American Indian culture and there are some great things to do in nearby St. Louis, we are driving there and back for our anniversary in May. We may tent camp a little – I am reluctant about this since I have such a hard time sleeping anyway.

Closer will be a weekend workshop with Mary Beth Shaw at Random Arts in Saluda, North Carolina. I don’t paint much but the workshop that I took with Mary Beth at Art-is-You Petaluma a couple of years ago was SO MUCH FUN that I am looking forward to playing with Golden paints and mediums for a weekend during a very busy work time for me. I will need some relaxing me time by the end of March! Here is what I did in her class in 2012:

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I have an excellent arrangement with a neighbor to trade cat-care services and here is a shot of his studio cats this morning. They are not related but they are exactly the same beautiful color.

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Sandy and I are going to try a Chi Kung and Tai Chi class at 12:30, so I need to get off the ‘puter now.